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MercenariesThe History of a Norm in International Relations$
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Sarah Percy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214334

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214334.001.0001

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Norms, Their Influence, and How They Can Be Studied

Norms, Their Influence, and How They Can Be Studied

(p.14) 1 Norms, Their Influence, and How They Can Be Studied

Sarah Percy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out the theoretical framework of the book. It adopts a constructivist approach, which explains how norms influence behaviour and how their impact can be studied. The first section explains what a norm is, and defines proscriptive norms. It moves on to explain the three main theoretical approaches to defining norms, and argues that a constructivist approach is the most appropriate for capturing the influence of the norm against mercenary use. The third section outlines the relationships between norms and the related concepts of law, morality, and interests. In the fourth section, the ways in which norms influence politics and state behaviour are examined. The fifth section argues that a narrative methodology is most appropriate to describe and explain the influence of norms on state behaviour. The chapter concludes by addressing some of the challenges inherent in a study of norms.

Keywords:   mercenary, law, morality, interests, politics, proscriptive norms, constructivist approach

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